Attorney: Case ‘politically motivated’

A Port Clinton defense attorney has accused the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office of fast-tracking an attempted burglary case to favor the victim, state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba.
Alex Green
Dec 18, 2013
The suspect — Alexander Reitzel, 19, of Port Clinton — was indicted Thursday on two counts of attempted burglary. The indictment came five days after he allegedly tried to break into Redfern’s $845,000 home in Catawba Island Township. The home is currently up for sale.

Reitzel’s attorney, Tom DeBacco, said the indictment came much too quickly.

“(Reitzel) gets indicted within five days for two felonies of the third degree,” DeBacco said. “It’s wrong, it’s politically motivated”

DeBacco said he believes Reitzel is innocent and is being treated unfairly because of Redfern’s political stature.

“In no way did he try to break into Chris Redfern’s house,” DeBacco said. “There was a ‘For sale’ sign in the front yard. You figure it out”

Redfern said he was in Pennsylvania when he randomly decided to watch the video surveillance that monitors the interior and exterior of his Catawba home. The video is accessible remotely.

“The way some people use their phone to look at Facebook or Twitter, I’m one of those crazy people who watches my video surveillance cameras” Redfern said.

He said he watched the surveillance footage for about an hour, during which time Reitzel was allegedly on his property.   

Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan’s office provided copies of the video footage to the Register.

The video, about 45 minutes long, shows a man in a red-and-black jacket on the property at various points, at times fiddling with the knobs to doors at the back porch.

At one point, another man is seen with the suspect.

Reitzel later told Catawba Island police he saw a “For sale” sign in the yard, and he was peering through the windows and back door to look at the home’s interior, according to police.

Redfern and Mulligan denied any allegations of collusion; they both said the video footage provided sufficient evidence for an indictment.

“To suggest that in some way I manipulated the system — I’m looking for Mr. DeBacco to apologize,” Redfern said.

Mulligan said grand jury indictments are handed down every two to four weeks.

“(The accusation) is unsubstantiated” Mulligan said, adding the indictment was justified based on evidence he gathered with help from assistant prosecutor Andrew Bigler and his staff.

“(Reitzel) was caught in the act,” Mulligan said. “He was observed by the homeowner over the course of an hour, watching in real time”

Reitzel was released from the Ottawa County jail Monday on $30,000 bond.

Comments

Darwin's choice

Is your last name Redfern?

You sure are sucking up.......

White Owl

He's the family dog.

meowmix

Totally agree with you Red--If it was my home I'd be pretty darn p.o'ed at ANYONE sneaking around it. If I was that kid's parents, the very last thing I'd do it try to justify what the hell he was doing if I knew deep down inside he was up to something. Hey, I'm no big fan of Refern's but I'm pretty darn tired of the home invasions, B&E's, ATTEMPTED B&E's and thefts being perpetuated constantly now. Bottom line is, Redfern didn't do anything wrong, but I'm sure this kid was planning on it.

techie823's picture
techie823

The company that installed the system used some pretty cheap cameras, no facial detail from ~10 feet?? I own a computer business and install surveillance systems for a living, if he paid for that he was taken on the setup, dropcam for a million dollar house is just plain retarded.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

Another thing is the 45.07 min video only shows views from one cam, there has to be more cams in the house . Saving for court maybe ?

techie823's picture
techie823

Is there a link to the video I missed? I was going off the first picture above. If it was an attempted B&E, why(like others stated) would you watch for 45 minutes. Police response to an elected officials home should be faster than regular residential?? Something smells rotten, coming from Ottawa County I wouldn't expect anything less.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

It was on the PC herald ,they took it done and left 4 short clips .Like I said the whole thing and others are saved for court ,would be my guess.

techie823's picture
techie823

Oh, P.C. resident here, I think that paper is a joke, esp the 7 day trial to view online article's, needless to say I don't go to the website much

reddog

Ha, no! I'm not a Redfern that's for sure. But I AM husband and I have children and a wife to look after and protect and I am appalled that anyone would somehow justify this felonious behavior. I am also a resident of Ottawa County and my kids go to Port Clinton city schools where this 19 year old young man is still in High School and tongues are wagging about other "issues" this young man has. That 19 year old young MAN wasn't there to look at purchasing an expensive home. And for those of you who are trying to justify this man's actions, you should know that it IS illegal to walk up to someone's home and try to open their doors and/or windows... there was no Realtor "Open House." Jeez, people! I imagine myself in that situation and I picture my wife or one of my own children being in that house. It's terrifying and disturbing and the man should be held accountable REGARDLESS of who the home belongs to.

DickTracey

Ok, reddog, whatever you say. Should we add attempted rape charges on him too? After all, he "might " have raped someone, "if" he got inside, and "if" someone were home.

And then let's charge him with arson too, cause I "think" he "might" have started it on fire , "if" he got inside!

Mulligan is a pathetic prosecutor, and now he thinks he is a psychic too? He can read the perps mind, he knew what his intentions were!

I'm a mind reader too, I see an editorial cartoon in the future, with Redfern holding Mulligans little PUPPET STRINGS!!

I also know who Mulligan will bring in to testify, Woulda, Coulda and Shoulda, the Been brothers! Haha!

Also, reddog, you just created a new screen name for this story, so you are obviously more involved in this case than just a caring Ottatwa County husband.

reddog

sorry, didn't mean to clog up with double entries.

reddog

I live in this community where this crime occurred and I know of this kid. Quite frankly, this is the only story I've felt was relevant to comment about in recent past. For the record, I've had a subscription to the Sandusky Register with the Screen name RedDog for years. This case hits close to home for me and my family as this happened less than two and a half miles from our house. I don't even KNOW the prosecutor or the Redferns but I've seen this kid before, met the family and I'm NOT surprised to learn he is in trouble.

I see now that "comments" are for people with grudges and political agendas. Many of you SAY you want fairness, you want accountability for criminal action, but apparently if the victim lives in a nice house they aren't entitled to be concerned for the safety of their family. I'm giving fair warning that anyone comes to MY house trying to open MY doors and windows they will be looking down the barrel of a gun. I won't care how much they paid their lawyer to claim that their ADULT son is ADD. And ANY way you look at it, trying to waltz into someone else's locked home is a crime.

DickTracey

Reddog, as a parent then, you should be ashamed. You are making accusations against a kid you have only "seen" not met. And you are judging him, based on "tongues wagging" in the halls of a High School.

Practice what you preach reddog, these comments are for people who hold grudges? Sounds like you are a hater of rich kids!

meowmix

Oh brother. What kind of parent sanctions their kid to go roaming the neighbor peeking in windows and checking to see if the doors and windows are locked?

meowmix

AGREEING WITH REDDOG! Seems to me the ones claiming political bias are the ones who can't stand Redfern or Mulligan. They're staying very mute on the subject of it would have been their home. Debacco is pretty smart fella, --sorta like a rape case you know? Make the victim look like she was asking for it right?

Centauri

"He said he watched the surveillance footage for about an hour, during which time Reitzel was allegedly on his property."

Why didn't Redfern call the police at the first sign of a stranger on his property for a security check?

Louise

Exactly! I don't know how a typical burgler operates but I would think if you were gonna break and enter you wouldn't just hang around the property.

Centauri

Would Mulligan go after a registered Democrat if the situation was the same?

I checked the voting record of Alexander but no party affiliation listed. (4217 E FIRELANDS BLVD)

Using the same address, I checked the party affiliations of Cynthia L. and Jeffery L. who I believe to be Alexander's parents. Both are registered Republicans. (4217 E FIRELANDS BLVD"

All of the other REITZELs in Ottawa County, Ohio are also registered Republicans or independents.

Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.
Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.
Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.
Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.

(LINK DELETED) I can't even use TinyURL to post the link.
Check the REITZEL name in Ottawa County, Ohio. There are other REITZEL names in other counties of OHIO.

Get Republican Mike DeWine to look into this case. DeWine will get more points to look into this case and many more additional points if anything improper is found.

Centauri

I tried several ways to post the link but I keep tripping the SPAM filter.

Maybe the Sandusky Register doesn't want me to post links.

Centauri

I posted the SR link to this story and I still keep tripping the SPAM filter.

I can't post a link to the Sandusky Register home page due to the SPAM filter.

Licorice Schtick

The link was to another newspaper. Perhaps that's now a TOS violation?

The opposition will be silenced.

tonto

House hunting? Right!! What 19 year old kid can afford a $800,000 home let alone any home. Lets say he was house hunting. Who grabs the door handle to see if it's open. If it was open what was he going to do? Take a walk around inside to see the lay out. Put this dirtbag way now before he does something a lot worse.

tonto

House hunting? Right!! What 19 year old kid can afford a $800,000 home let alone any home. Lets say he was house hunting. Who grabs the door handle to see if it's open. If it was open what was he going to do? Take a walk around inside to see the lay out. Put this dirtbag way now before he does something a lot worse.

Pages